In the last couple of years, my Pathwork has accelerated exponentially. A very, very old connection was reestablished, and the Teacher that I've sought for most of my life manifested in a very unexpected way. I've learned a lot of things that were almost embarrassing, because, in hindsight, they were obvious, right in front of me, but I'd previously lacked the perspective to see them. I wasn't asking the right questions.
One of the most important, most powerful things I've learned is a pair of incredibly puissant magick words- a phrase, an expression, that adds depth, volume, dimension, and outright OOMPH to everything and anything you try to do, from as mundane as cooking a meal to as mystical as next-level manifestion.
What is this outrageously powerful spell, this Master-rank incantation?
No matter what we're talking about, when you genuinely appreciate what you have, what you receive, it opens the door, in both directions, for an exchange of energy, ideas, materials, and resources of all kinds. The critical part of this is the "in both directions" part.
In my entry on Dichotomy, I said:
"...dichotomy, really, is nothing more than a mechanism by which we have the opportunity to see other points of view, other ways of being, other ways of doing things. In short, other ways to grow."
The two-way nature of genuine gratitude is a form of dichotomy that reflects it's purest and most honest application. It is NOT a "quid pro quo" kind of give and take, not at all. It's the idea that ownership, possession, and "Mine/Yours" are a construct of the fearful mind, a way of imposing a boundry between ourselves and what we fear.
As I said in Dichotomy, sharing multiplies, hoarding divides. When we are afraid, we try to isolate ourselves, to insulate ourselves. When we are brave, we realize that, just as we need others to thrive, others need us too! That, all by itself, is a source of great fear for many people. They don't want to be depended on, to be counted on. They want to take "theirs," and be left alone. The responsibility of being Important, Valuable, Needed, is much more than many people can handle. The truth, though, is that when you share without reservation, when you share unconditionally, there is no need to worry about what you might or might not get back, or when, because it's a foregone conclusion. Even if you're sharing with someone who is living in fear, someone who hoards because they are afraid, there is still no cause for concern, because the Universe operates in a very different way than "this for that." Genuine gratitude means recognizing when you have more than you need, and sharing that "extra" with those who don't have enough. Even on a small scale, this attitude has an amazing effect, even on the mundane people in your world who still operate from fear.
The creed of greed is one that we have drilled into us almost from birth, and the "gimme" mentality is an addiction that's hard to break. It can be very hard to truly know if we're taking care of ourselves, or if we're feeding our greed and refusing to share. Is taking a day to play video games and eat junk food really a "mental health day," or are we being lazy and refusing to spend that time helping someone who needs it because we "don't wanna"? I don't know about you, but I question myself all the time, I second guess myself all the time. Here's the twist, though- if you weren't genuine, if you weren't really doing the best you could... would it even occur to you to question yourself? Sure, we all make mistakes; we all have those moments where greed out-muscles gratitude... but the fact that we recognize that when it happens, and strive to "do better," means that we're growing, that we're waking up.
In my mind, the first and most important step to sharing what you have, and making yourself available for honest exchange, be it with others, with yourself, or the world around you, is being grateful- grateful for what you have, for what you DON'T have (think of all the things you don't have that you DON'T want), and for yourself- being here, doing this, is an opportunity that many of us take for granted; be grateful for this chance to be more than you were when you got here (or, more accurately, this chance to wake up more fully to what you already are), and then take the next step: share that power, that majesty, with the people around you, and help them wake up as well.
At first glance, this may seem to have spun away from the idea of gratitude and landed more squarely on the idea of Sharing and Waking up... but they're all links in the same chain, parts of the same machine, and Gratitude is the fuel that the engine of your Spirit runs on.
...so if you're feeling down, sluggish, or low... look at yourself in the mirror... and say "Thank you." You might be surprised by what happens.